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SRQ DAILY Dec 19, 2020

Saturday Perspectives Edition

Saturday Perspectives Edition

"What inspires me most about James' story is that, together with our donors, we've created a safety net that catches those who want to be helped."

- Mark Pritchett, Gulf Coast Community Foundation

[Argus]  New York Exodus Will Continue, It is Time to Plan
Christine Robinson, Christine@argusfoundation.org

We have all seen and felt the mass exodus from New York to Florida here in Sarasota. We need to plan for this migration to continue and magnify. 

The exodus began well before the pandemic due to the high tax and negative business environment in New York. New York was taking its economy for granted. This exodus is now being magnified by COVID-19. With draconian shut-down measures that are not proving effective, the state is now not just driving the wealthy out, they are driving out their young people too. 

The New York flight to Florida due to taxes and business environment is not an anomaly. California has begun to see their fair share of flight to Texas, with one of the most prominent businessmen in the world, Elon Musk, picking up Tesla and his family and moving for this very reason. It is a sign in this now transitory economy, taxpayers do not have to stay where they are and get abused by government.

When I picked up The Wall Street Journal this week, I was stunned to see New York contemplating another income tax increase on those who make over a million. Almost a 2% increase is on the table. On top of that, some politicians are trying to make the income tax increase retroactive. Yes, you read that correctly, a retroactive income tax increase.

According to the article, labor unions in New York are advocating for the increase and dismiss any notion that this will drive investment out. Clearly, they have not been to Florida recently.

Ironically, the day prior to the New York tax increase article, The Wall Street Journal ran a real estate story about a wealthy private equity manager from New York who bought a penthouse in a Miami condominium for $33 million. Clearly, this is a problem for New York.

How dangerous is ignoring this problem? According to the article, about $50 billion in New York income taxes is collected from just 188,000 filers. By my back of the napkin math, the state of New York loses on average, well over a quarter of a million dollars in taxes for every one of these taxpayers that flees. Will a tax increase be worth it to avoid the $8 billion in cuts that the article claims is the alternative to the tax raise? The tax increase will be the easy way out, but likely the most damaging.

New York’s self-inflicted problem will affect Florida no matter what. We must prepare ourselves by planning for infrastructure, growth, and be mindful of the affordable housing problem being exacerbated. We will have an opportunity to do that planning in the upcoming two years. We will be planning for the renewal of our infrastructure surtax, the extra penny in sales tax we pay when we buy something taxable. 

The beauty of this tax is that over 30% of it is paid by tourists, lifting the burden from residents. It has given us roads, parks, amenities, and updated schools. Every person that moves here also pays this tax.

New Yorkers and others from mismanaged high tax states are coming. We cannot, and should not, try to stop them, we need to spend our energy on planning for them. The community needs to constructively begin to think about our infrastructure and needs for the next 15 years, because they are coming whether we build the infrastructure or not.         

Christine Robinson is executive director of The Argus Foundation. 

[Gulf Coast]  For Some, A Year Worth Remembering
Mark Pritchett, mpritchett@gulfcoastcf.org

As we end a uniquely difficult year, I knew I could count on some good people to remind me what’s right in our world.

I am talking about a humble group of Gulf Coast Community Foundation donors who helped make it possible for more than 200 chronically homeless individuals in our region find permanent homes this year. These previously homeless individuals are the ones who have “highest acuity of need.” That means they were homeless for long periods of time—most often years—and suffer complicating challenges like mental illness or addiction.

Take, for instance, James. We heard James’s story from the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office. While he was serving a felony sentence in the county jail, James expressed interest in help. He began working with a team of “Reentry Navigators,” who then connected him with the county’s Homeless Outreach Team upon his release.

James was able to get shelter and services from The Salvation Army, where he reactivated the disability benefits that were discontinued during his incarceration. His history of homelessness and his disability qualified him for the Suncoast Rapid Rehousing program, run by St. Vincent de Paul CARES. The good people there helped James move into his own apartment, where he continues to receive case management from them while working toward the full independence he set as his goal.

This is a safety net that Gulf Coast Community Foundation has knitted together with our donors and our many outstanding nonprofit and government teammates, including Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness. They’d tell you that the success achieved by James and others is reward enough. But I still want to thank them, on behalf of so many in our community who are turning a hopeful page in a home of their own this year-end.

What inspires me most about James’s story is that, together with our donors, we’ve created a safety net that catches those who want to be helped. When you think about year-end giving, your charitable works can do more than patch a hole. You can be part of a team that together helps not just one individual, but hundreds within a year.

This past year has been one that many people will want to forget. But it’s worth remembering how philanthropy—literally, love of humanity—continued to flourish, making this year a positively unforgettable one for neighbors like James.

Mark Pritchett is president and CEO of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation. 

[Higher Education]  Thankful at SCF in Challenging Year
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

The holiday season always brings reflection. We look back on a year like no other, full of unexpected challenges and disruption to our lives. I hope, however, that 2020 also gives us hope and confidence when we look at the ways we chose to rise above the issues. Through it all, there are many things I am thankful for in 2020.

I am thankful that State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota, is uniquely positioned to help our students and community overcome the pandemic’s impacts. Our academic offerings, rapid credentialing opportunities and local partnerships put our college at the center of our community’s economic resurgence. Our flexibility and spirit of innovation give us the ability to rapidly respond to student and employer needs.

Throughout this year, our team at SCF maintained our commitment to quality and to preserving the value of an SCF degree or certificate. On Dec. 11, we held a drive-through commencement ceremony to acknowledge the accomplishments of more than 860 Fall 2020 graduates. These students, along with our 820 spring and 520 summer graduates, rose above unprecedented circumstances and remained committed to their futures during this crazy year.

I am thankful that we can impact areas of our community most in need. Among our fall graduates are 76 registered nurses who can provide relief to the over-taxed nursing staffs in our region’s hospitals. It is a testimony to the character and dedication of each of these graduates that they willingly enter the nursing profession at this time. They have no illusions about the environment they are entering.

I am thankful for our partners in assisting our community members return to the workforce through our “Get Credentialed, Get Noticed!” initiative, which can get students back in the workforce in less than a year in many different career fields." SCF’s rapid credentialing programs can get students back in the workforce in less than a year in many different career fields. Scholarships are available through the CARES Act grant from the state and laptops through Florida Power and Light’s $229,000 grant. At SCF we follow the ABC method with our program: first “A” job, then on to a “B”etter job and finally a “C”areer.

I am thankful to be in such a philanthropic community. When our students needed help the most last spring, the SCF Foundation was able to raise $100,000 for the SCF Foundation Coronavirus Student Emergency Fund. The Foundation’s November virtual scholarship luncheon exceeded its fundraising goal for student scholarships. This community believes in the future of our students and we are extremely grateful for that support.

I am thankful that we could create a safe learning and working environment on our campuses for staff, faculty and students. We will maintain our commitment to letting students choose how they take their classes, whether on campus or online, and will continue to offer classes with flexible start and end dates to suit students’ family and work commitments.

This has been a challenging year, but I am extremely proud of how SCF has served our students. The need for higher education and workforce training has never been more compelling, and we are committed to providing the environment and the resources our students need to move forward with their lives. I am thankful, however, that 2020 is coming to a close and look forward with optimism for the year ahead.

Dr. Carol Probstfeld is president of State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota. 

[In This Issue]  Online Shopping, Locally Of Course.

Roundup of the best local brands online. 

Click here for the full December 2020 edition of SRQ Magazine.

[SOON]  HEALTH: Sarasota Christmas Glow Run 5k , December 18 – December 19, 6am-11:59pm

This fun family friendly festive event features miles of Christmas decorations and music that creates an atmosphere that will get your Christmas season started off right from Friday, December 18 at 6am until Saturday, December 19 at 11:59pm. This professionally chip timed night glow run will be a memorable experience like no other. Athletes run or walk the lakeside Christmas themed course with thousands of lights and lighted characters at night. Athletes add to the atmosphere with their complimentary glow products that are included with registration. ...and YES, there is 100% chance of pretty snowfall at the finish.

NBP Regatta Island, 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle

[SOON]  HEALTH: Van Wezel: Bay Park Yoga , November 21 – December 26, 9:30am-10:30am

Relax, stretch and enjoy a free fulfilling yoga session every Saturday from November 21 until December 26, 2020 from 9:30am to 10:30am on the Sarasota’s scenic bayfront while instructor Erin Hurter guides you along the way. Participants should plan to bring their own yoga mat and water bottle.

Van Wezel Lawn

[SOON]  GALLERY: Art Uptown Gallery: Imagine: Paintings by Jill Krasner , November 28 – December 25, Gallery hours.

Jill Krasner, Art Uptown’s December solo artist, takes viewers on a magical, mystery tour of imaginary gardens all artistically grown during the 2020 pandemic. Wander through a new collection of exuberant paintings filled with a jumble of jaunty, colorful flowers and landscapes without borders from November 28 until December 25, 2020. Jill’s latest work continues to demonstrate her color mastery and complex, inventive surfaces. Stroll through Jill Krasner’s new collection at Art Uptown, located at 1367 Main Street, Sarasota open Monday through Friday, 11 am to 5 pm, Saturday, 11 am to 3pm and Sunday 12 noon to 5pm. You can meet the artist during Saturday gallery hours. Private appointments can be arranged by calling 941-955-5409. The gallery continues its commitment to visitor and staff safety by the use of masks, sanitizer, frequent cleaning and social distancing. 

Art Uptown Gallery, 1367 Main Street

[SOON]  MUSIC: Jazz Around Town: Debbie Keeton , December 19, 5pm

Join The Jazz Club of Sarasota at 5pm on Saturday, December 19 and Debbie Keeton at Mattison's Forty-One at 7275 South Tamiami to enjoy this edition of Jazz Around Town.

Mattison's Forty-One

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: HD at the Opera House: The Nutcracker , December 20, 1:30pm

Clara is given an enchanted Nutcracker doll on Christmas Eve. As midnight strikes, she creeps downstairs to find a magical adventure awaiting her and her Nutcracker.The magician Drosselmeyer transforms the drawing room for a battle between mice and toy soldiers. During the battle, Clara saves the Nutcracker's life - so breaking a magical spell that turned him from a boy to a toy - and the Mouse King is defeated. In celebration, Drosselmeyer sweeps Clara and the Nutcracker off to the Kingdom of Sweets, where they meet the Sugar Plum Fairy and take part in a wonderful display of dances. The next morning, Clara's adventures seem to have been more than just a dream. This production will take place at 1:30pm on December 20, 2020.

Sarasota Opera House

[SOON]  FOOD: Celebrate Christmas with Michael's On East , December 25, 12pm-8pm

Join Michael's On East for Family Style Dinner, Housemade Desserts, or Individual Servings on Christmas Day, December 25. Family Style Dinner Heat and Serve options include Turkey Dinner for $199 and Prime Rib Dinner for $299, both of which serve up to 6 people and are available for pickup from 12pm until 1:30pm. Housemade Desserts include a chocolate yule log, pecan pie, key lime tart, cheesecake, and Christmas cookies and are available for pickup from 12pm until 1:30pm. A La carte Individual Turkey and Prime Rib Dinners are alternatively available for dine-in or pick up from 2pm until 8pm. Order online before Sunday, December 20.

[SOON]  HEALTH: Virtual: Lakewood Ranch 5k Jingle Run/Walk , December 24 – December 27, 8am-1pm

This year's event will be a Virtual Race on Thursday, Dec. 24 at 8am through Sunday, December 27th at 1pm, 2020 and is hosted by the Lakewood Ranch Medical Center Auxiliary to benefit their Nursing and Health Careers' Scholarship Program. Keep the tradition going in 2020 with the 9th Annual Jingle Run, a virtual 5K run/walk to help support the Lakewood Ranch Medical Center Auxiliary Nursing Scholarship Program. Proceeds from The Virtual Jingle SK Run and Walk go directly to the Auxiliary's New Nursing Scholarship Program designed to benefit students enrolled in college nursing program and currently doing their clinical affiliation at the Lakewood Ranch Medical Center. To register for the Virtual race go to www.raceroster.com, go to register for a new event and search under the word "Jingle." Register to run or walk wherever you are to show your support for future nurses. Participants will receive a bib number and custom designed 2020 medal. Participants who complete the virtual run/walk and submit results will be eligible for raffle prizes.

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Virtual: The Bishop: December Stelliferous , December 23, 7pm-9pm

The stars are the stars during Stelliferous, our monthly live guided tour of the skies with a staff astronomer, who will talk about where our stars, planets and constellations are headed. The program includes the most current events in the world of astronomy, then we open the floor for an always-fun question and answer session — which this month is sure to include the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. During our December 23 program at 7pm, Planetarium Manager Howard Hochhalter will team up with Bishop Curator Tiffany Birakis to explore how different cultures around the ancient world ascribed meaning to the movement of the stars and planets and even the winter solstice. Tickets are $3 for members and $5 for non-members.

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Virtual: The Bishop: The Night Sky in the Ancient World , December 23, 7pm

The stars are the stars during our monthly live, guided tour of the night skies, Stelliferous. This month Planetarium Manager Howard Hochhalter and Bishop Curator Tiffany Birakis are teaming up for a special program at 7pm on December 23, 2020 that will explore how different cultures around the ancient world ascribed meaning to the movement of the stars and planets, including the Star of Bethlehem. This Zoom program will include opportunities for Q&A.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Virtual: Choral Artists of Sarasota: Holiday Lights , December 23, 4pm

Choral Artists of Sarasota's 42nd season, entitled "Rise Up" continues with "Holiday Lights" a concert celebrating the season with Hanukkah and Christmas songs that illuminate the essence of light for each holiday. The concert will be streamed online and features, among other works, "Navidad Nuestra," which highlights the Christmas story through the eyes of the indigenous people of Argentina. This concert features the debut of tenor Rafael Dávila with Choral Artists. The concert is live-streamed Wednesday, December 23, 4pm, and is available in replay for 30 days. A "Concert Insight" featuring a live-streamed, informal chat about the music, composers and themes with Artistic Director Joseph Holt and guests is Thursday, December 10, 10am and available in replay for 30 days.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Jazz Around Town: Robbie Rose , December 22 – December 23, 6pm-9pm

Join The Jazz Club of Sarasota and Robbie Rose from 6pm to 9pm on Tuesday, December 22 and from 6pm to 8pm Wednesday, December 23 at Goodfellows Café & Winery at 4571 Clark Road for this edition of Jazz Around Town. A Livestream is also available at Facebook: Robbie Rose or Youtube: Robbie Rose Music.

Goodfellows Cafe & Winery

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Virtual: Bookstore 1 Sarasota: PoetryMic , January 10, 2pm

PoetryMic is a series that presents an array of varied and talented poets. This month's poets are Don McLagan, Liz Kelner Pozen, Mary Saily and Carol Sundberg. There is no charge for this first PoetryMic event on January 10, 2021 at 2pm. There is an optional fee of $7.00 to help defray the cost to the bookstore. Reservations required for Zoom link.

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Selby Gardens: Rainforest Masks of Costa Rica Exhibition and Sale , January 9 – January 31, Museum hours.

For the 15th year, Rainforest Masks of Costa Rica will return to Selby Gardens. A collection of more than 300 masks created by a collective of indigenous Borucan artists will be on display and available for purchase. The Rainforest Masks of Costa Rica exhibit and sale showcases artists from the Borucan Indian tribe of Costa Rica. Experience the vibrant, hand-carved and painted balsa wood masks showcased in the Museum of Botany & the Arts from January 9 to 31, 2021.

SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. Senior Editor Jacob Ogles edits the Saturday Perspective Edition, Letters and Guest Contributor columns.In the CocoTele department, SRQ DAILY is providing excerpts from news releases as a public service. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by SRQ DAILY. The views expressed by individuals are their own and their appearance in this section does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising and sponsored content opportunities, please contact Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or via email

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